The Relationship Between Self-Reported Emotional Strain and Ambulatory Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

  • H. Schächinger
  • W. Langewitz
  • H. Rüddel
  • W. Schulte
Conference paper


Experimental psychosocial stress has been identified as causing disease in certain animal populations [1], and it is now widely accepted that adverse stress also contributes to cardiovascular morbidity in humans [2]. Part of this contribution may be explained by stress-induced alterations in established cardiovascular risk factors [3]. Epidemiologic surveys, for example, have documented that cardiovascular risk factors are elevated after natural disasters [4, 5]. However, most of the evidence about pathophysiological stress effects is derived from laboratory studies. It is well established that blood pressure increases in response to mental stress [6]. Even short-term increases in blood pressure (BP) may contribute to chronic BP elevation by structural vascular changes and subsequently increasing total peripheral resistance [7]. Presumably BP or factors associated closely to BP changes have some trophic effects on the vascular wall, thereby increasing BP reactivity, and, as a self-perpetuating process, this leads to reduced internal vascular diameters and enhanced vascular resistance [8]. Taking this into account, a pathogenetic significance of stress for onset and maintenance of arterial hypertension might be suggested, and patients should be encouraged to avoid stressful situations if possible.


Systolic Blood Pressure Hemodynamic Parameter Ambulatory Blood Pressure Adult Subject Cardiovascular Parameter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Schächinger
  • W. Langewitz
  • H. Rüddel
  • W. Schulte

There are no affiliations available

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